Let's Talk About...P.O.L.S.T.

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Age Group:

Adult, Senior
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Program Description


This is a series centered around difficult health care topics. 

The second topic in the series is P.O.L.S.T. (Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment or Portable Medical Orders).

POLST is a form that gives seriously-ill patients more control over their end-of-life care, including medical treatment, extraordinary measures (such as a ventilator or feeding tube) and CPR. Printed on bright pink paper, and signed by both a patient and physician, nurse practitioner or physician assistant, POLST can prevent unwanted or ineffective treatments, reduce patient and family suffering, and ensure that a patient's wishes are honored.

POLST communicates your wishes as medical orders. A POLST form tells all health care providers during a medical emergency what you want:

  • “Take me to the hospital” or “I want to stay here”
  • “Yes, attempt CPR” or “No, don’t attempt CPR”
  • “These are the medical treatments I want”
  • “This is the care plan I want followed”

Correction - By the Bay Health will no longer be presenting this series.